The Jakartan Glow

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The hotel we’re staying at is quite fantastic–full-service-type, gym, spa, hair salon, “mini-mall,” excellent service, etc.  All our meals are taken care of.  For dinner, we were taken to a gigantic sea food restaurant, packed with people, more than a thousand, maybe two.  You pick your own food from the tanks and tell the chefs how to prepare it.  I ate some of the best calamari I’ve ever had.  Jakarta is a strange city, crazy with traffic, jammed with more people than could possibly have room to live.  The sky above Jakarta has this ominous and surreal silver-gray glow, something like what I imagine William Gibson was trying to evoke with his famous first line of Neuromancer:  “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”  This Jakartan glow is borne from spectacular amounts of air pollution.  The effect is eerie and also beautiful, especially when you see several looming gray skyscrapers hovering above you in the murk and gloom.